Tobacco is a plant that contains the drug nicotine. It comes in the form of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco (also known as chewing tobacco).

Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals and poisons. Over 50 of these cause cancer including; nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene.


Did you know?

Studies show that each cigarette shortens your life by about 10 minutes.

  • Of every 1,000 Canadians aged 20 who continue to smoke, about half (500) will die from smoking - 250 of them before the age of 70.
  • On average, people who die from smoking lose 15 years of their expected life!


Are pipes and cigars safe?

Smoke from pipes and cigars can harm you too. Many people who smoke pipes and cigars do not inhale - but they have more risk of getting cancer of the lip, mouth, tongue or throat. And most people who switch from cigarettes to pipes do inhale!


Smokeless Tobacco is also very harmful!

Some people believe that by "chewing" tobacco rather than smoking they are avoiding the health risks involved. It leads to nicotine addiction, causes cancer of the mouth, esophagus (the passage that connects the throat to the stomach), and pancreas (a gland that helps with digestion and maintaining proper blood sugar levels)  and increases the risk for death from heart disease and stroke. (Source)


Health Effects of Tobacco

Short Term Affects

  • poorer physical fitness
  • more colds and coughs
  • more phlegm (thick mucous)
  • more wheezing and asthma

Long-term effects

  • More than 30 per cent of all cancer in the world is caused by tobacco.
  • Smoking causes 90 per cent of lung cancer. It is also linked to many other cancers—including cancers of the head and neck, stomach, kidney and bladder.
  • People who smoke have more risk of cardiovascular (heart-related) disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
  • Smoking can cause respiratory (breathing-related) diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • People who smoke have weaker immune systems and are sick more often.
  • They are more likely to get stomach ulcers.
  • They are also more likely to have problems with sex (erections) and fertility.
  • About half the people who start smoking in their teens and keep on smoking will die from a tobacco-related cause.
(Source: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)